ASTi Support Philosophy & Labor Rates


Support Contracts

Administrative & Pre-Proposal Support

For customers looking for help in understanding the products available from ASTi—or trying to establish a price for a system—ASTi will usually provide up to ten hours free administrative support.

Similarly, where a customer requires access to an ASTi engineer for help in configuring a system, we are happy to provide a reasonable amount of free consultation. On occasion, this pre-award technical support crosses the line into becoming program-specific system engineering design services. Where this occurs, ASTi reserves the right to reflect this sunk cost into the subsequent pricing of NRE services.



Technical Support Contract

The Concept of a TSC

Most digital audio communications problems are complex; with the advent of multi-operator integrated platforms, large distributed exercises, and HLA the solutions are becoming ever more sophisticated. Even though ASTi equipment makes these complex training scenarios feasible, it unfortunately cannot make them trivial because the underlying problem domain is complex.

There is no substitute for in-house expertise.

When ASTi provides their platform as commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), it is important that they appreciate that this does not obviate the need for their own in-house subject matter experts (SMEs).

ASTi will provide extensive support and training in support of these SMEs, but cannot replace them.

For OEMs who have developed in-house expertise and just want to avail themselves of COTS equipment and a limited amount of specialized support [1], there is the option of an ASTi Technical Support Contract (TSC).

The ASTi TSC provides a limited [1] bank of pre-paid support hours under which specialized support services are provided. This vehicle is intended to provide a responsive and informal mechanism to allow the customer engineering audio specialist to obtain immediate technical support from ASTi without invoking a separate purchase order for each occasion.

The cost of this support is kept to a minimum by avoiding administrative burden on either party. To accomplish this, the accounting of these hours is made at an engineer-to-engineer level.

This flexible arrangement relieves ASTi of the administrative costs of producing multiple trivial proposals, invoicing against minor milestones, and--most significantly--the considerable burden of expediting overdue payments. In return, ASTi grants the customer a substantially reduced cost for the labor provided under the contract.

Furthermore, the rates for this support are kept as low as possible (see table below) because we consider that it is in ASTi's best business interest to encourage and develop expertise with ASTi equipment in the customer community.

[1] The TSC is not intended to be a replacement for customer in-house expertise, but a supplement; therefore, we reserve the right to restrict the amount of support provided to a customer.


TSC Benefits

The support contract provides the following benefits to the customer:

  • Benefit 1: Discount for all labor charges (detailed below)
  • Benefit 2: Free software revisions when applicable [2]
  • Benefit 3: Priority repair status
  • Benefit 4: Initial credit bank of support hours
  • Benefit 5: Unused support hours do not expire

[2] Please note that some software updates may be a cost item (specifically, the transition between Model Builder 3.x series and 4.x series). The free software revision service only applies to accounts that are restored to a 30 hour minimum credit at the end of the one year period. Also, note that software updates are only provided at customer request, or where ASTi feels it addresses a problem that the customer may have.

With a valid support contract, support services are charged at a base rate of $150 per hour. An additional urgent-support rate may apply in circumstances requiring immediate resolution without prior notification, regardless of TSC status. An account summary can be presented at the end of each year, or when an account is approaching depletion.

At any time, the customer may request an accounting of the tasks against which hours have been charged.

If the allotted support hours are exhausted before the completion of the contract effort, the customer will be notified, and may elect to restock the account. Even if the TSC expires, the customer will continue to receive benefits 2 & 3 (listed above) for the remainder of that year.

Unused TSC hours may also be converted to cash-equivalent for minor purchases or unanticipated expenditures. This is extremely useful for minor repairs, spares purchases, or travel and per-diem for urgently required site trips. Hours may also be assigned to specific pre-agreed tasking such as custom model updates.

Please note that the TSC does not cover extended hardware warranty. This can be quoted on a per-contract basis.



Technical Support Rates

Note: The rates listed below apply only to technical support issues, and do not apply to engineering development effort.

Description Rate w/ TSC* Rate w/o TSC*
Work performed at ASTi facility $150/hr. $185/hr.
Work performed at customer site [3] $1,500/day
$750/half-day
$250/hr.
(if < 8 hours)
[3] All Travel For on-site support (with or without current support contract), economy travel and subsistence expenses are billed at cost; travel time is chargeable at $150 per hour. at-cost at-cost

* The above pricing includes approximately a 25% discount, Standard Rates shown below.



It should be noted that customers without a funded contract will be charged at substantially higher rates which represent a more realistic charge for the value of this highly specialized support.

For programs with project/program management and/or custom development, different rates may apply:

Description Rate w/ TSC* Rate w/o TSC*
Specialized Project Engineer (PE) $175/hr. $220/hr.
Development Engineer (DE) $185/hr. n/a
HLA/IA Engineering Support $200/hr. n/a
Program Managment (PM) $220/hr. $250/hr.

* The above pricing includes approximately a 25% discount, Standard Rates shown below.

You can buy standard support or HLA support hours in blocks of 10 by contacting ASTi.


Standard Rates

The rates in the tables above represent a discount of approximately 25% against ASTi standard engineering service rates (shown below). This discount is only applicable to customers who are willing to adopt the COTS business model and procure goods and services from ASTi on a commercial purchase order basis, relying upon our reputation in the marketplace to ensure that they obtain a satisfactory solution.

The following rates apply to customers who standardize upon the conventional formal military procurement methodology whereby ASTi must invest in substantial bid and proposal efforts to bid against formal statements of work. These rates include an appropriate overhead burden to allow recovery over those Bid & Proposal efforts which it would be unfair to apply to other more receptive customers.

Description Rate w/ TSC Rate w/o TSC
Work performed at ASTi facility $195/hr. $240/hr.
Work performed at customer site [3] $1,950/day
$975/half-day
$325/hr.
(if < 8 hours)
[3] All Travel For on-site support (with or without current support contract), economy travel and subsistence expenses are billed at cost; travel time is chargeable at $150 per hour. at-cost at-cost

Description Rate w/ TSC Rate w/o TSC
Specialized Project Engineer (PE) $230/hr. $290/hr.
Development Engineer (DE) $250/hr. n/a
HLA/IA Engineering Support $290/hr. n/a
Program Managment (PM) $290/hr. $325/hr.
Level D Certification Support $260/hr. $325/hr.